Monday, August 12, 2019

My Favorite Song by Kaye Spencer #westernfictioneers #folkmusic #songs

We all have songs that mean something extra special to us whether by our associating them with a special event, a loved one, a precious moment, a situation, etc. In fact, if you’re like me, I could go on for hours singing the words to all the songs that are near and dear to me.

 But there is one song. The one song that tops all the others. The that brings a tear to my eye and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.


“My” song is an American rendition of Greensleeves, which is an old English folk song of complicated, and not entirely identifiable origins. Greensleeves was a familiar song (tune) in Shakespeare’s day, because he referenced it in his play, 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' in 1595. Falstaff: “Let the sky rain potatoes! Let it thunder to the tune of ‘Greensleeves’!”

There is a legend that the original song was written by Henry VIII for his future wife, Anne Boleyn, but that is apparently a myth as there is evidence the song was around before Henry’s time.

By 1690, or so, the original song was becoming associated with Christmas and New Year’s. Then by the 19th century, any Christmas songbook worth its salt included some version of the original folk song (lyrics and tune) as a carol. Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and a host of other crooners have recorded their renditions of Greensleeves.

Here is a clip from The Rifleman with Johnny Crawford singing Greensleeves.

As a Christmas song, we know it as What Child is This? which has also been recorded by too many artists to list here.

For those of you desiring more history about Greensleeves, click HERE, HERE, and HERE. 

My favorite song is A Home in the Meadow. The lyrics were written by Sammy Cahn and the song was performed by Debbie Reynolds in the 1962 western movie (and book by same title written by Louis L’Amour), How the West was Won.

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is the YouTube clip from the movie. If you've not read the book How the West was Won AND watched the 1962 movie of the same name, you should remedy those most egregious oversights as soon as you can. You can thank me later. *wink*

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

Writing through history one romance upon a time

Stay in touch with Kaye

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  1. Although Unchained Memory is my favorite song of all time, it's El Paso that has had the great effect on me ever since I was a teen and love it to this day. I so enjoyed the video of Johnny Crawford singing Greensleeves--a song choice unexpected for that series. Love the theme song from High Noon, too. What a great movie. And as always, I love your posts, Kaye--always interesting.

    1. Gosh... Unchained Melody is one of those soulful songs that grabs your heart and holds on. "Do not forsake me, oh my darling, on this, our wedding day..." I can hear Tex Ritter singing.

  2. A classic. What is so interesting Johnny Crawford continued with his music career after The Rifleman ended.

    For myself, House of the Rising Sun, a song with a similar history. It was first recorded in 1933.

    And Debbie Reynolds was brilliant in How the West was Won, and I love this song also. Doris

  3. I had such a crush on Johnny Crawford. ;-) The old ballads had a lot to say about learning life's lessons the hard way. House of the Rising Sun is a great one.

    *sigh* How the West was Won... love this movie.

  4. I literally fell off my chair in uncontrollable fits of laughter when i read those last two comments, the person who wrote them must be a comic genius, thanks. BTW, Burt and Kirk were two of my all-time favourite actors although i must admit i`ve never heard of Pauline Hickey, i`ll have to find out who she is.

  5. I have too many favorites to claim one above the others. Lately I have been loving Johnny Cash doing Ghost Riders in the Sky - One I loved as a kid when sung by Vaughn Monroe.